Dear Friends, Neighbors, Arts District Stakeholders:
Attached is a graphic history of Los Angeles Downtown Arts District Space. As most of you know, LADADSpace is a non-profit dedicated to preserving the Arts District as a true creative community by sponsoring gallery, theater and other projects that create opportunities for artists and advocating for affordable housing for artists.
We are facing a crisis. In Dec. 2016 we had just received permits to build out the Arts District Center the Arts (which had already cost $120,000 in architect and consulting fees) and we were planning a fund-raising event. Then, a week before Christmas, we were handed a summons. LARABA (Los Angeles River Artists and Business Association) is suing us for half the income we earn working with production companies filming in the community (we contain some to footprints that minimize conflicts, discourage others and offer useful information about specific locations). Filmmakers understand that working with us helps avoid conflicts and preserves the community as a renewable resource for filming. Since 2004, production companies have donated money to LADADSpace to benefit the arts and LADADSpace donated funds to LARABA on a project-by-project basis so both groups could support projects that made the community a true Arts District
A few years ago the two organizations grew apart as developers joined the board and priorities shifted. That is life, of course, but when the LADADSpace board members left LARABA to focus on arts issues, LARABA’s board demanded we continue to donate to them. Our board refused. LARABA sued.
The suit has cost the community an Arts District Center for the Arts and tens of thousands of dollars that should have gone to the arts but has instead gone to lawyers. We do not have the deep pockets of the developers who are paying for LARABA’s suit. We believe the new board members see LARABA not as a community betterment organization but as a vehicle for lobbying the city on development issues. We have no quarrel with that that — but we think the LARABA board should be happy with the farmers’ market income (LARABA still earns revenues from the very successful Thursday market at City Hall that we created when we served on the LARABA board) and if they brought the Thursday evening market back to the Arts District, they could significantly increase that.
LADADSpace works on an extremely efficient budget — roughly 80% of our income goes directly to arts activities and we depend on volunteers who have put in thousands of hours over the years. Does the community really want to put us out of business? LARABA is your community betterment association. Please tell LARABA to stop. If LADADSpace has to fold, there will be no winners. For more about us, see ladadspace.org.
Thanks for your support.
Tim Keating, President
Los Angeles Downtown Arts District Space (LADADSpace)